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Five tasty and healthy summer grilling recipes

Win summer with these healthy grilling recipes

Group of friends having barbecue party outdoors, hanging out, drinking, grilling food, enjoying

It’s summertime, and the eating is … healthy? Not necessarily: An endless parade of beer, burgers and hot dogs is hardly a recipe for feeling like your best self.

But that’s no reason to forgo one of summer’s great treats — grilling.

Below we have five simple ideas for grilling — they’re quick and easy, healthy and flavorful, regardless of whether the flavors you like are traditional American, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern…

Whether you’re cooking a weeknight dinner in under 30 minutes on your outdoor grill, or just want a summer meal you can enjoy at your leisure, these healthy dinners are just the thing. These all work with a variety of seasonings, so get prepared for your tastiest — and possibly healthiest — summer yet. Fire up the grill…

In this article:

Grilled chicken breast

Boneless chicken thighs are probably the best cut of chicken for grilling: good fat, hard to overcook. Chicken breast is, of course, better for you. But how to avoid it getting dry on the grill without marinating it in huge amounts of oil?

The answer is to brine the chicken. When the breasts spend a little time in the solution, they absorb enough liquid to avoid drying out when grilled. Note that they are likely to require less salt than usual when cooking, perhaps even none.


Grilled zucchini

All kinds of vegetables respond well to grilling, but zucchini is one of the easiest grilled veggies to make. It’s moist enough that it won’t dry out if your grill technique is imprecise. And it tastes good at all temperatures, so you can cook it at the start of the grilling process and eat it at room temperature, or cook it toward the end while the meat rests.


Fish directly on the grill

Fish is healthy, but fear is not, and a lot of people are scared of grilling the ocean’s bounty. It’s true that it requires more care than grilling meat, because the window of tasty doneness for fish is smaller than it is for a steak or a burger). But it’s not that hard if you prep right.

Use skin-on fillets. The skin adds flavor, protects at least one side of the fish, and should make it easier to remove from the grill when you’re ready to serve it. Note that thicker (1/2 inch or so) filets are easier to work with, as they have a better chance of acquiring a nice char on the outside without getting dry in the middle.


Fish in leaves or foil

Another, easier way to cook fish on the grill is to wrap it in either leaves (such as banana leaves, which can be found in Asian groceries, or grape leaves, available from Greek purveyors and online). Or use tin foil.

Tin foil, since it’s so well sealed, will give you less smoky flavor than leaves, though it’s worth noting that putting things in foil is a good way to accommodate non-meat eaters when you have a small grill.


Grilled lettuce

Hear us out: You already know lettuce is healthy, but unless you’ve eaten it grilled, you’re probably unaware of quite how delicious it can be once it’s picked up a char, some smoke and a slight sweetness from the coals.

Grilled lettuce is versatile: You can use the leaves in a salad or as a burger topping, or, better yet, throw some toppings on the lettuce and eat it as a side. Toppings can be as simple as oil, vinegar and parmesan; a more complex vinaigrette; nuts; ham; or combinations of the above. Stronger flavors, like fish-sauce-based vinaigrettes, also work well.


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About Michael Davis

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Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

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